Become a Patron of HadIt.com. If you appreciate what we are doing and can afford a monthly commitment, this is a great way to support us
HadIt.com Veteran to Veteran Fundraiser
Revenues are down, costs are up and I need your help.
Give a financial gift to help with the upkeep of HadIt.com. HadIt.com is NOT a non profit. Gifts are not tax deductible, they are just gifts.
*****NEW EDIT AS OF FEB. 14th....
Okay, it says that the HLR review was completed on Jan. 28th. I STILL have not received a letter, and on Monday, the 15th, it will be three weeks. The rating looks to be the same on my e-file, but, when I called the VSO on Friday to see if he could see anything on his end of what the VA said about the HLR, he said that my file showed nothing-not the claim or my disability percent(s), or the HLR. Anyone else run into issues with HLR decisions and taking longer than the 10 days to receive your decision letter? I would like to know why I was denied (I am assuming I was, since the percent is the same)...
I know the time frame for a HLR is normally about 4 months (they state on their website 125 days), however, I am wondering if anyone has filed a HLR since they opened up the VA more in August? Just wondering if there is a huge backlog now. I have mine just sitting there since September, and no status change, even though I was thinking it would be until January, but, as most others have said, still checking often to see if there has been any updates!
CUE =BVA - retro to 1985 for PTSD
There are over 2,000 CUE decisions at the BVA for 2020. Many of them were denied and those cases reveal why they were denied.
But persistence pays off:
This vet would not give up- the case shows the rigamorale he went through.
"ORDER The Veteran’s motion to revise the March 2007 rating decision that granted service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), effective October 7, 2005, on the grounds of clear and unmistakable error (CUE) is granted, and an effective date of April 9, 1985, but no earlier, for the award of service connection for PTSD, is assigned. "
This case involved not only CUE but 38 CFR 3.156.
Also the veteran appealed to the Court ( CAVC twice and apparently had a lawyer at that point who successfully represented him at the BVA for the CUE.
The veteran at some point reopened his claim in 2005 and gained a 70% rating in 2007 (retro back to 2005)
The BVA stated:
"Here, there is no question that the award of service connection in 2007 was based, at least in part, on the confirmation of the Veteran’s stressors completed through CURR research. So, it is clear in this case that the effective date provisions of 3.156(c)(3) were applicable. "
This vet Also had problems getting his stressors verified- problems that probably came from the VA itself-that is why it pays to do all you can to get a stressor verified via JSRRC and/or buddy statements. VA will lie about contacting CURR, when sometimes they never do that.
It took 22 YEARS for that to occur in this veteran's case.
Still the veteran knew that was wrong- and he proved with his lawyer that hi original 1985 claim for "delayed stress" ( PTSD was still new then and many vets with a PTSD diagnosis I met when I worked at a Vet Center, didnt really know what PTSD was, but they all had been diagnosed with it -from the Vietnam War.)
My husband's 1983 award was for service connected "nervous condition"" subsequently changed to PTSD, when PTSD formally went into the regulations.
In this case the original claim for "delayed stress" was clearly an established fact that the veteran had PTSD fro the Vietnam War.
In many cases ( such as a recent CUE question here) a re opened claim can only generate a potential valid CUE on the original claim, only when there is no doubt that the original claimed disability was exactly the same as the re opened awarded disability.
The only good thing VA ever did for my husband was diagnose him with PTSD immediately when he tried to choke a loan officer at the VA.
The Director,a VA psychologist, as I mentioned before, gave him a buddy statement, because my husband revealed one stressor to him and the psychologist- was called to the same scene at the Perfume River, Vietnam to treat Marines who were obviously seriously affected by the "volunteer job" they had to do.It was horrible. He was awarded within a few months after that for SC PTSD. 30% SC.
Even with treatment for years for the PTSD here in NY, he was awarded 100% P & T posthumously for SC PTSD because PTSD can get worse over the years. Severe stressors never go away.
I hope this case above will help someone out there who thinks they have CUE and/or 3.156 potential.
Any vet rep or VSO who can read, would be able to understand what a valid CUE is by reading this case, and be able to determine if you should file or re open in that regard.
My last post on CUE here yesterday will also help any POA rep ,VSO , or claimant understand what a CUE is and how a re -open can gain a better EED, as explained in that post and in this very recent BVA award.
I have roughly one million questions but I'll try to keep it simple. This is the first time I am appealing a denied claim (though not my first denied claim - I currently have 50% combined). Almost exactly one year after my C&P exam I finally got a denial for both of my knees). I did a HLR informal conference and now my va.gov status says "The VBA is correcting an error". Here is the decision I received on Dec. 7th after the Higher Level Review (sorry I couldn't figure out how to add image) and below that are my questions.
1. A duty to assist error has been identified during the Higher Level Review of left knee pain. 2. A duty to assist error has been identified during the Higher Level Review of right knee pain. Evidence: Timeline from intent to file on 10/2/19 to HLR informal conference on 12/2/20 Reasons for Decision: 1. Higher Level Review for left knee pain The issue of left knee pain was returned for correction of a duty to assist error in the prior decision. We failed to get other records. We will develop for lay statements and if warranted additional opinions. (38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.159, 38 CFR 3.2502, 38 CFR 3.2601) Favorable findings identified in the decision: You have been diagnosed with a disability. The VA exam dated 11/7/19 showed a diagnosis of patellofemoral pain syndrome. 2. Higher Level Review for right knee pain The issue of right knee pain was returned for correction of a duty to assist error in the prior decision. We failed to get other records. We will develop for lay statements and if warranted additional opinions. (38 CFR 3.303, 38 CFR 3.304, 38 CFR 3.159, 38 CFR 3.2502, 38 CFR 3.2601) Favorable findings identified in the decision: A nexus or link has been established between your claimed issue and an in-service event or injury. During VA exam dated 11/7/19 the VA examiner provided a positive medical opinion linking your right knee to service. You have been diagnosed with a disability. The VA exam dated 11/7/19 showed a diagnosis of right meniscal tear, right knee instability, and patellofemoral pain syndrome. MY QUESTIONS
1. Am I just out of luck because I didn't seek treatment during Active Duty?
2. Under "favorable findings" it states that "a nexus, or link, has been established between your claimed issue and an in-service event". Isn't that the literal definition of a service connected disability?!
3. What is the error? What have you all seen as timelines and outcomes for this?
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to respond and post. Reading these questions/answers over the last year has been both educational and comforting.
In August 2020, I filed a HLR for heart attack and was just called by a DRO. The DRO indicated the decision was in error because it was based solely on the wrong condition (atrial fibrillation) and did not address the heart attack at all. They will go over everything, including the strong "more likely than not" IMO from my non-VA board certified doctor. They said they would try to grant based off of the evidence of record. Of course, if granted, I would get another heart C&P for rating purposed. Should know something within the next couple of weeks.
I will upload this to the HLR timeline post I have but also wanted to get some input. Looks like my supplemental claim about the lack of secondary opinion helped get me new CP exam as this is what the error was in my claim, apparently. It seems like they may back date the EED also to my ETS, at least that's how it seems to read? Any input is appreciated.
HLR Decision - Error Correction_Redacted.pdf
rebabevets posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,I already get compensation for bladder cancer for Camp Lejeune Water issue, now that it is added to Agent Orange does it mean that the VA should pay me the difference between Camp Lejeune and 1992 when I retired from the Marine Corps or do I have to re-apply for it for Agent Orange, or will the VA look at at current cases already receiving bladder cancer compensation. I’m considered 100% Disabled Permanently
Ddsr posted a question in VA Disability Compensation Benefits Claims Research Forum,The 5, 10, 20 year rules...
Five Year Rule) If you have had the same rating for five or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless your condition has improved on a sustained basis. All the medical evidence, not just the reexamination report, must support the conclusion that your improvement is more than temporary.
Ten Year Rule) The 10 year rule is after 10 years, the service connection is protected from being dropped.
Twenty Year Rule) If your disability has been continuously rated at or above a certain rating level for 20 or more years, the VA cannot reduce your rating unless it finds the rating was based on fraud. This is a very high standard and it's unlikely the rating would get reduced.
If you are 100% for 20 years (Either 100% schedular or 100% TDIU - Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability or IU), you are automatically Permanent & Total (P&T). And, that after 20 years the total disability (100% or IU) is protected from reduction for the remainder of the person's life. "M-21-1-IX.ii.2.1.j. When a P&T Disability Exists"
At 55, P&T (Permanent & Total) or a few other reasons the VBA will not initiate a review. Here is the graphic below for that. However if the Veteran files a new compensation claim or files for an increase, then it is YOU that initiated to possible review.
NOTE: Until a percentage is in place for 10 years, the service connection can be removed. After that, the service connection is protected.
Example for 2020 using the same disability rating
1998 - Initially Service Connected @ 10%
RESULT: Service Connection Protected in 2008
RESULT: 10% Protected from reduction in 2018 (20 years)
2020 - Service Connection Increased @ 30%
RESULT: 30% is Protected from reduction in 2040 (20 years)
broncovet posted an answer to a question,While the BVA has some discretion here, often they "chop up claims". For example, BVA will order SERVICE CONNECTION, and leave it up to the VARO the disability percent and effective date.
I hate that its that way. The board should "render a decision", to include service connection, disability percentage AND effective date, so we dont have to appeal "each" of those issues over then next 15 years on a hamster wheel.
Ztmiller8 posted a question in Appealing Your Veterans Compensation Disability Claims NOD, DRO, BVA, USCAVC,Finally heard back that I received my 100% Overall rating and a 100% PTSD rating Following my long appeal process!
My question is this, given the fact that my appeal was on the advanced docket and is an “Expedited” appeal, what happens now and how long(ish) is the process from here on out with retro and so forth? I’ve read a million things but nothing with an expedited appeal status.
Anyone deal with this situation before? My jump is from 50 to 100 over the course of 2 years if that helps some. I only am asking because as happy as I am, I would be much happier to pay some of these bills off!
Joey Ross posted an answer to a question,I told reviewer that I had a bad C&P, and that all I wanted was a fair shake, and she even said, that was what she was all ready viewed for herself. The first C&P don't even reflect my Treatment in the VA PTSD clinic. In my new C&P I was only asked about symptoms, seeing shit, rituals, nightmares, paying bills and about childhood, but didn't ask about details of it. Just about twenty question, and nothing about stressor,
Picked ByJoey Ross,